What to do when a Team Member becomes Difficult
As a business, you need a team around you. You need the manpower, and you need the time, energy and skills of various other professionals to support your company’s endeavours. After all, very few one-person businesses make it past the first few years, and it’s always going to be a good idea to have a few heads to bounce off of.
However, it’s inevitable that you and your team are going to butt heads. You’re going to disagree, and have varying viewpoints over one thing or another, but that shouldn’t stop you from working constructively together.
And yet, sometimes a team member can become ‘difficult’ in their workplace conduct. When that happens, what do you do?
Work Out What’s Going On
The first thing to do is to give some thought to what’s caused this change in behaviour. If the team member who is exhibiting difficult actions in the workplace used to be a real team player, and had a lot to offer, you’re going to want to dig into their background a little, to see if there’s anything you can do to help.
But how do you go about doing that? Well, your initial attempt should involve a private chat.
Call them into your office and ask if they’re OK, and if anything is going on in their private life. They may admit something to you here, and if so, you need to be sympathetic but firm in your response – make sure they know you understand, but make it clear that it’s affecting their work and something needs to change.
And if the employee is suddenly taking a lot of time off work, and you’re not sure if their reasoning for doing so is sound, you could even hire the best private investigator in your area to look into it for you. Make sure you’re not authorising a major intrusion here, however, and check with employee law that applies wherever you are.
Put a Plan Together
Once you know what the problem is, and you’re able to do something to help your employee out, make sure you put an action plan together. It’s part of your responsibility as an employer, and even just being more flexible with the shifts you give your employee can go a long way.
Above all else, make sure your help is wanted, and is actually going to be beneficial, and be sure to include your employee at all stages of the planning process.
Give them some advice if they ask for it. Give them more time at home if need be. Give them something different to do or affirm their usefulness to the team, if they’re having a problem with another team member, and be sure to talk to them about their behaviour as well.
All in all, do what you can to help, and be sure not to give up on your ‘difficult’ employee at the first hurdle.
If an employee is ‘difficult’, you need to dig a little deeper to help!
Image Credit: Pexels – CC0 Licence